Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NaNoWriMo Winner

Not that it means anything substantive (just check out Sean's hatefest) but I am an official 2007 National Novel Writing Month "Winner":

I hit the 50,000 word mark this evening, Sunday the 25th; meaning I averaged about 2,000 words a day. Even better, my story isn't finished. It looks like it'll weigh in at about 80,000 words when it's done, which is a much better length for modern commercial fiction. Now, of course, it's even more incumbent upon me to finish it, even though it's going to take more than 30 days.

Don't go looking for "The Phlebotomist" in bookstores any time soon, though. First of all, I have to:
  1. Finish it.
  2. Let it sit.
  3. Edit, revise, re-write and polish it.
  4. Proofread it.
Then and only then will I be ready to:
  1. Research agents.
  2. Compose a query letter.
  3. Write a synopsis.
  4. Submit queries.
  5. Wait.
where of course #5 is the most time consuming. The best possible course of events then goes like this:
  1. Agent(s) ask to see a partial.
  2. Agent(s) ask to see the full manuscript.
  3. Agent offers representation.
  4. Agent sells book to publisher.
Then, of course, it's only another year or two before the thing makes it through the glacial process that is publishing. And by that point, it's better than even odds that somewhere along the way, the title will have been changed.

So as I said, don't hold your breath to read it. Then again: I am a winner.


At Sun Nov 25, 10:40:00 PM, Blogger girlvet said...

cool. congrats..

At Sun Nov 25, 11:30:00 PM, Blogger tk said...

YAY! . . . and if you need anyone to read it during the editing/proofing process . . . ;o)

At Mon Nov 26, 04:46:00 AM, Blogger Dreaming again said...

I was just about to ask, are you going to be willing to swap rough drafts with other nano participants ;)

At Mon Nov 26, 08:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have to say that either 1) Sean isn't very bright or 2) he's betting on the people reading his interview not being very bright.

People don't do shit if there's no minimum amount of work or deadline attached to a project. He apparently never had to write a college essay. People function on deadlines. Medicare Part D proved that pretty conclusively, too. :p

Of course, if the whole thing was written tongue-in-cheek -- an impression that I didn't get -- then my observations are pointless.

PS- Congrats! I'm hoping to participate again (it's been 3 years), and I've never finished. :(

I would love to read your novel.

At Mon Nov 26, 08:55:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

YES!!! Congratulations on making your 50K -- and a week early, too!

I'll be waiting in the autograph line at your first signing!

At Mon Nov 26, 10:33:00 AM, Blogger Sean Lindsay said...

"Of course, if the whole thing was written tongue-in-cheek -- an impression that I didn't get ..."

#1 Dinosaur, is this the sort of person you want to be reading your novel?

RJS, you will apparently be surprised to learn that most published authors wrote at least their first novel without needing an externally imposed deadline. Pretty much every writer in the history of literature, in fact.

Given Nano's failure rate (a reasonably constant 84% of participants), it would appear that many people don't do shit, even with deadlines.

I know I'm none too bright an' all, and I never went to no fancy college, but if I wracks my brain I bet I could think of one human achievement that wasn't driven by a deadline.

The Sistine Chapel, for instance.

At Mon Nov 26, 11:43:00 AM, Blogger rlbates said...


At Mon Nov 26, 11:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I agree with Sean about the word count. It's ridiculous. People would be better served by focusing on quality rather than quantity.

But good luck with your novel, Dr. Dino!

At Tue Nov 27, 11:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK Sean, we won't stress you out with a deadline. Just complete a 50,000 word novel that doesn't look like it was typed by 12 monkeys. That's right, quite drooling and pick up your crayon!

At Wed Nov 28, 01:10:00 PM, Blogger Detail Muse said...

Edit, revise, re-write and polish it.

Remember that a major part of this step is getting others to read and critique the draft ... it's amazing what beta readers notice, and so helpful.

At Wed Nov 28, 04:33:00 PM, Blogger #1 Dinosaur said...

Detail Muse: That should have read:

3. Edit, revise, re-write and polish.
4. Solicit input from beta readers
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as necessary.

At Fri Nov 30, 07:57:00 AM, Blogger Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...


I pooped out nablopomo over Thansksgiving.

Can't they pick a month without major holiday at the end?

At Fri Nov 30, 09:23:00 AM, Blogger Dreaming again said...

tbtam ... I wondered the same thing that week myself! I would have fizzled that week anyway ... I got an infected pinky!!! EEKS! I could not hit the enter or shift key! I could mess around on the computer, but writing was not possible. It messed with my thought/writing process.

I went from well ahead of schedule and a comfortable cushion, to behind the 8ball. Finishing, but panicked.

At Sat Dec 01, 04:43:00 PM, Blogger make mine trauma said...

Congatulations and best of luck!


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